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Butte Field Office
Release Date: 08/03/09
Contacts: David Abrams 406-533-7617    

Holter Lake Boat Dock Closed for Season

Renovation work has begun on waterfront facilities at the Bureau of Land Management’s popular Holter Lake Recreation Area.

The Holter Lake boat ramp, dock and day-use parking lot closed for the season on Aug. 3 as a construction crew began a 90-day project to replace and expand the docks, build new asphalt walkways, and upgrade the existing boat ramp. The upgrade will ultimately provide 44 overnight dock slips (12 of them new), an improved anchoring system, and a three-lane concrete boat ramp with nearby courtesy docks.

Just because the boat ramp is closed, however, doesn’t mean the rest of Holter Lake is shutting down. During construction, the Holter Lake campground sites and associated facilities will remain open for the public to enjoy.

Boaters are also reminded that BLM’s other boat ramp at Log Gulch, about three miles southeast of the Holter Lake Recreation Area, will remain open to the end of the season and can be used as an alternative launch. The Log Gulch boat ramp and docks are scheduled for upgrades next year, a project which was postponed so that both popular sites would not be closed at the same time.

To accommodate the anticipated increase in parking, BLM officials will close camping sites 1-13 on Sardine Row at Log Gulch Campground for overflow parking of vehicles with boat trailers. This campsite closure begins Aug. 5 and continues through the end of the season. Other campsites at Log Gulch will remain open for public use during this time.

Signs will be posted at Holter Lake to inform the public when parking lots at Log Gulch reach capacity. The public is reminded that parking along the road in undesignated sites is strictly prohibited.

The Holter Lake Recreation Area was built in 1972 and sees more than 65,000 visitors each year. With such heavy use, the boat dock is starting to show its age, said Bradley Rixford, Supervisory Outdoor Recreation Planner with the BLM’s Butte Field Office. "The existing ramp and docks do not meet handicap requirements and present serious safety hazards due to iron fatigue from wave actions, warped and rotten boards, pontoon deterioration/leakage, steep gangways, inadequate bumpers and unstable concrete slabs under the water," he said. "The time has come to give this boat ramp and dock facilities a serious facelift."

The planned start date for the project, which comes before the end of the summer recreation season, was chosen due to the length of the work, the contractor’s schedule and the approaching winter months.

"We purposely delayed closing the ramp as long as we could," Rixford explained. "Given the unpredictable Montana weather, we worked backwards three months from the beginning of November as our end date and that is why we are forced to close the ramp in early August.

"Overall, we are going to greatly improve the boating experience on Holter Lake," Rixford added. "Visitors will enjoy better, safer and more accessible boat facilities when this upgrade project is done."

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.

Butte Field Office   106 N. Parkmont      Butte, MT 59702   

Last updated: 06-28-2012